1. leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice;
- Example: "he threw himself on the mercy of the court"
[syn: clemency, mercifulness, mercy]
2. a disposition to be kind and forgiving;
- Example: "in those days a wife had to depend on the mercifulness of her husband"
[syn: mercifulness, mercy]
3. the feeling that motivates compassion;
[syn: mercifulness, mercy]
4. something for which to be thankful;
- Example: "it was a mercy we got out alive"
5. alleviation of distress; showing great kindness toward the distressed;
- Example: "distributing food and clothing to the flood victims was an act of mercy"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Mercy \Mer"cy\ (m[~e]r"s[y^]), n.; pl. Mercies. [OE. merci, F. merci, L. merces, mercedis, hire, pay, reward, LL., equiv. to misericordia pity, mercy. L. merces is probably akin to merere to deserve, acquire. See Merit, and cf. Amerce.] 1. Forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation, when one has the power to inflict it; compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary; clemency. [1913 Webster] Examples of justice must be made for terror to some; examples of mercy for comfort to others. --Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. Compassionate treatment of the unfortunate and helpless; sometimes, favor, beneficence. --Luke x. 37. [1913 Webster] 3. Disposition to exercise compassion or favor; pity; compassion; willingness to spare or to help. [1913 Webster] In whom mercy lacketh and is not founden. --Sir T. Elyot. [1913 Webster] 4. A blessing regarded as a manifestation of compassion or favor. [1913 Webster] The Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. --2 Cor. i. 3. [1913 Webster] Mercy seat (Bib.), the golden cover or lid of the Ark of the Covenant. See Ark, 2. Sisters of Mercy (R. C. Ch.),a religious order founded in Dublin in the year 1827. Communities of the same name have since been established in various American cities. The duties of those belonging to the order are, to attend lying-in hospitals, to superintend the education of girls, and protect decent women out of employment, to visit prisoners and the sick, and to attend persons condemned to death. To be at the mercy of, to be wholly in the power of. [1913 Webster] Syn: See Grace. [1913 Webster]WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
mercy n 1: leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice; "he threw himself on the mercy of the court" [syn: clemency, mercifulness, mercy] 2: a disposition to be kind and forgiving; "in those days a wife had to depend on the mercifulness of her husband" [syn: mercifulness, mercy] [ant: mercilessness, unmercifulness] 3: the feeling that motivates compassion [syn: mercifulness, mercy] 4: something for which to be thankful; "it was a mercy we got out alive" 5: alleviation of distress; showing great kindness toward the distressed; "distributing food and clothing to the flood victims was an act of mercy"Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
73 Moby Thesaurus words for "mercy": acceptance, act of grace, act of kindness, benefaction, beneficence, benefit, benevolence, benignancy, benignity, blessing, caritas, charity, clemency, clementness, commiseration, compassion, condolence, consideration, courtesy, easiness, easygoingness, favor, feeling, forbearance, forbearing, forgiveness, generosity, gentleness, good deed, good offices, good turn, goodwill, grace, graciousness, humaneness, humanity, indulgence, kind deed, kind offices, kindliness, kindly act, kindness, labor of love, laxness, lenience, leniency, lenientness, lenity, liberality, magnanimity, mercifulness, mildness, mitigation, mitzvah, moderateness, obligation, office, pardon, pathos, patience, pity, quarter, relief, reprieve, ruth, self-pity, service, softness, sympathy, tenderness, thoughtfulness, tolerance, turnEaston's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
Mercy compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness (Gen. 19:19; Ex. 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps. 85:10; 86:15, 16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace (Matt. 5:7; 18:33-35).Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
MERCY, crim. law. The total or partial remission of a punishment to which a convict is subject. When the whole punishment is remitted, it is called a pardon; (q.v.) when only a part of the punishment is remitted, it is frequently a conditional pardon; or before sentence, it is called clemency or mercy. Vide Rutherf. Inst. 224; 1 Kent, Com. 265; 3 Story, Const. Sec. 1488.Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
MERCY, Practice. To be in mercy, signifies to be liable to punishment at the discretion of the judge.The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
MERCY, n. An attribute beloved of detected offenders.